PROP users praise service

Left to right, Mandy Dixon, Sonia Leck and John Dixon
Left to right, Mandy Dixon, Sonia Leck and John Dixon
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PROP has proved a huge support for emotional Mandy Coxon, who is recently bereaved.

The 29-year-old single mum lost her mother Sheila Hughes, 50, to cancer last year and she is still visibly heartbroken.

Mandy, who is clearly still coming to terms with her bereavement and was close to tears when speaking to the Mail, said: “It’s changed my life, coming here.

“It’s really helped me.

“I was drinking a lot at one point but since coming here I have stopped.

“It’s also got me out of the house and provides me with a real network of friends as I hardly have any family.”

Mandy even takes her seven-year-old son Dylan Cambridge along to the PROP house, where he is welcomed by the other users.

“It’s like my family and I think Debbie’s brilliant.

“It’s a real shame that PROP gets no funding – Debbie does a lot for everybody.”

●No doubt is has saved my life

FOR Sonia Leck PROP has no doubt saved her life.

The 54-year-old said: “If it wasn’t for PROP I would have been six feet under years ago.”

The mother-of-two and grandmother-of-six from the town centre area told the Mail she self-harms.

But she says since coming to PROP for the past 17 years, her problem has greatly reduced.

Sonia added: “It has been a big support and we are one big family.

“PROP has paid for me to go to college to do a Swedish body massage and I have also got food hygiene qualifications which have led to me helping in the kitchen here.

“I have also got my first aid qualification through PROP.”

Sonia said it was unfair that PROP had lost out on funding, adding: “It’s wrong, really wrong.

“I wish we could get funding to pay Debbie some wages.”

● ‘Amazing for providing such a service’

AT 70, John Dixon is PROP’s oldest service user.

John, who lives at the Laurel Gardens complex, in Marlowe Road, Hartlepool, has suffered from mental health problems since he was 22.

He had spent time in hospital receiving treatment before he found help in the domestic setting of PROP’s Lowthian Road base.

John said: “I have been coming to PROP since 2000.

“I come her for three days a week and I like coming here.

“I really enjoy it and Debbie is amazing for providing such a service.”

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